How to Fight Jet Lag

Researchers have found that one’s internal 24-hour body clock (circadian rhythm) controls the body’s ability to fight off disease.  Jet lag occurs when your circadian rhythm is upset due to travel across various time zones.  The disruption caused by travel and (typically) sleep deprivation makes the body more susceptible to disease.

Jet lag seems to be worse for travelers heading west, versus those traveling east. Interestingly, children do not seem to be affected by jet lag as badly as adults.

Here are some methods to combat jet lag:

  • Drink lots of water /fluids that do not contain alcohol or caffeine (the air in planes is very dry)
  • Sleep as much as possible (inflatable neck pillows often help)
  • Time your meals to match the same meal time at your destination
  • Walk around the cabin and stretch when possible, then exercise asap upon arrival

It also helps to prepare for your trip by exercising before it as well – and no drinking, hangovers make it much worse.


Do you dream about retiring in a foreign country or pursuing a career abroad? Thanks to affordable airfares, easy access to the internet and globalization, these dreams are becoming a reality for many. However, there is a major challenge that is often overlooked when retiring overseas or moving abroad for work. The potential problem is finding dependable, high quality healthcare outside of one’s home country.

The simple reality is that most countries do not have a health care system as reliable as what we enjoy here in the U.S. Many countries do not have enough hospital beds or doctors to go around. In some places, the illnesses and diseases that are now unheard of in the U.S. still kill thousands. It is crucial to consider this when planning a move abroad and make preparations to ensure that you stay safe.

Here are a few things you could do. A great place to begin your research is the Department of State with their useful travel warnings and travel alerts. Also, your doctor or health insurance company can let you know of any vaccinations you need before you leave. They can also recommend any drugs you need to take to stay healthy once you move overseas.

Another crucial factor is finding a quality medical insurance plan that will cover you abroad – this should also be arranged well in advance of your move overseas (we can provide a variety of options for you). Lastly, one must research the location of medical facilities on the ground before you go.  We are always happy to provide a list of high quality medical providers worldwide.  Most of them already have a direct billing relationship established with the companies that we represent.  Therefore, you just show your ID card and the medical bills get sent directly to your insurance company. Just let us know what city you will be living in (or closest one nearby) so that we can give you a list of the highest quality hospitals.

Teaching English Abroad

Many of our clients are teaching English abroad – they are teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).  China is the top destination at the moment. Here are some tips if you considering being an ESOL teacher :

First of all, almost all of the English schools abroad require you to commit for at least one year. If you have already spent a lot of time abroad then this should be no problem.  If not, you will definitely be facing some new challenges and it will take you some time to adapt so be prepared.  There are English
speaking expats everywhere so its easy to make friends – there will probably already be others teaching at your new school who can help you through your transition period.  The staff at your new school must be bi-lingual as well. However, the more you can speak the local language, the easier it will be for you.

There are several documents that you will need to provide in order to secure your position.  These include a resume, photos, copies of your College degree (s), reference letter(s), etc. You will need to provide details regarding your teaching experience.  Also, you will obviously need to have your passport ready. Once these documents are provided your school or local recruiter will work with you to obtain a visa and work permit.  You might find it more convenient to work with a visa processing company if the nearest embassy is far away.

Last but not least is international health insurance coverage.  U.S. health insurance plans do not cover you outside of the US for long periods of time so you will need an international health plan.  The local school may offer some limited coverage in your new country of residence but you would typically have to go to public hospitals and clinics which are usually crowded, not very high quality and not likely to have English speaking care-givers.  All international health plans are designed to cover you at any private hospital or clinic - they typically have doctors trained in the US. Also, local health insurance plans do not cover you back in the US – international health plans are designed to cover you worldwide AND back in the US as well !

Medical Evacuation Coverage Is Essential – Don’t Leave Home Without It

Expats and “global citizens” must always be prepared for anything.  A routine injury or illness that happens in a remote area might require an emergency medical evacuation, otherwise known as “air ambulance” service. The actual method of transport can typically be medically equipped helicopters or airplanes that transport patients to the nearest hospital with adequate medical care. In many parts of the world, this “adequate medical care” might be very far away and often in a separate  country.

The cost for this type of specialized transportation can be quite high.  In many cases, this cost is somewhere in the tens of thousands. It is definitely not something that one typically budgets
for when planning a trip or move abroad.  Domestic U.S. health insurance plans are NOT designed to cover this type of expense.  That is why all foreign travelers need an international health insurance plan that IS designed to cover it.  All of the international health insurance plans offered by Global Insurance Net provide Emergency Medical Evacuation / Air Ambulance cover as a standard benefit, visit for more details.


International Health Insurance: A Necessity In China

Your travels are quickly approaching. Are you fully prepared? If you haven’t looked into your international health insurance plan, then the answer is no. Whether you are a tourist, on a business trip, or an expatriate moving to China it is crucial to have the proper health insurance plan. Without the proper coverage, when traveling overseas even the smallest of issues can become a major problem.

China is a very large country. The care you will have available to you depends very much on where you will be staying. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you know as much as possible about the medical facilities available in your area. In the case that you do encounter a need for medical attention, the best option would be to have access to a western-style facility where the staff is fluent in English. The cost of medical services at this type of facility is usually very high and is often only affordable to those who have international health insurance. Therefore, if you are traveling to China you should definitely purchase international health insurance to keep yourself fully covered and worry free throughout your travels.

Health Care Reform Won’t Cover International Health Insurance Needs

It’s an unavoidable topic! You turn on a computer, tv, or radio these days and there it is! The debate on health care reform is everywhere. No matter which side you choose in the debate, one thing is for certain; any changes to your health care plans will not be useful during international travels. It is clear international health insurance is a must for foreign travelers.  Even supposing the government were to introduce a new healthcare package, all indications are that it would only apply to citizens staying within U.S. borders. Therefore, if you’re traveling internationally, no matter how long your travels, you’ll surely want to look into international health insurance. Having this coverage assures you affordable healthcare while you travel abroad. Choosing to go without it is truly discouraged when a procedure overseas could cost you thousands of dollars.

Currently, the odds are high that if and when the government introduces a health care plan that offers coverage for everyone, it will only apply to residents of the US in the same manner as Medicare.  International health  insurance is your only guarantee of having the affordable medical coverage you need when traveling overseas.

Is Pre-Certification necessary with International Health Insurance plans?

It is always a good idea to do pre-certification with any sort of medical expense, just to be on the safe side.  Although not always required, pre-certification (otherwise known as pre-notification) is definitely worth your time and effort.

What is Pre-Certification ?  It is the process of simply letting your international health insurance company know about any upcoming medical services like planned surgery, hospitalization, or even diagnostic exams. It is not always necessary to get pre-certified for less complicated issues like doctor visits but it does not hurt to do so.

Please note that pre-certification is always required for any major medical service and failure to do it in advance of medical treatment will result in a financial penalty (a 50% reduction in benefits is typical among the international health insurance plans).  However, it is not required for emergency hospitalization. If one has an emergency you can just let the insurance company know within a reasonable time frame, usually 72 hours is fine.

Pre-certification is very important for the international health insurance companies for many reasons. It allows the insurance company to:

1.    Confirm whether the required medical care or diagnostic exam is covered by your policy or not.
2.    Determine whether or not the medical care or diagnostic exam in question is appropriate for the patient (as a way to control health care costs and cut down on unnecessary medical procedures and exams).
3.    Help the patient find the best hospitals and doctors to perform the procedure or exam in question.

4.   Lastly, when notified in advance the insurance company can negotiate rates and help to cut down on erroneous billing and over-charges.

You should definitely contact your international health insurance company in order to pre-certify with plenty of time.  Please contact us for details on how to do this or we can take care of it for you if you prefer.

Does Medicare Provide Coverage When You Travel or Live Outside of the U.S. ?

Many of our senior clients assume that Medicare will pick up the cost of their medical claims while traveling or living abroad. Unfortunately, in almost all cases the answer is no. Medicare is simply not designed to cover medical expenses incurred outside of the U.S.

Medical claims abroad can run into the thousands of dollars – air ambulance services alone can costs over $ 25,000.  However, Medicare and Medicare supplement plans do not cover these costs.  This is why it is so important for senior travelers and expats to secure international health insurance coverage before they leave the U.S.  As a standard feature, the international health insurance plans and international travel plans provide major medical benefits, air ambulance/emergency medical evacuation coverage as well as repatriation of remains.

Big Changes to Your U.S. Health Insurance (Employer – Sponsored Plan)

September 23, 2010 marked the six-month anniversary of health Reform and its also the date when several key insurance changes come into effect.   Here are some details about those changes if you get your insurance through your employer:

1) Coverage expansion for adult dependents until age 26. Employers will have to provide coverage for dependents of workers who don’t have access to other employer-based health care coverage ’till age 26. Some states already mandate this coverage until age 28 or 29. This new provision could also push companies to look for ways to restrict the number of new people added to their health plans.

2) Children no longer denied coverage for pre-existing conditions: Insurance plans can’t deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition to children under age 19. For adults, the same provision goes into effect in 2014.

3) Prohibit insurers from rescinding coverage: It’s illegal for insurers to drop a customer when they become sick or search for an error on a customer’s insurance application and then deny payment for service when the person gets sick.

4) Free Preventive Care: All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. If individuals keep their existing plans or if a group plan doesn’t make major changes, the provisions won’t kick in until the plans get changed.

New Visa Guidelines for the U.S.

In May, 2010, the United States announced new visa requirements that will make the application process much less painful than before. On June 1, 2010, the US government integrated online services for their application process. The online form called the DS-160 for Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) will be strictly for temporary visits including for business, pleasure, study and official diplomatic work. This includes:

Online Applications

Scheduling Interviews Online

One application per family (instead of applications for each family member)

The application is anticipated to take between 20 to 40 minutes. Once completed, individuals will be required to print this confirmation and present it during the interview. This confirmation letter will include a bar code which will pull up the submitted application immediately. In the case where there is no immediate printer access, applicants can choose an optional feature to have the application emailed.  For those traveling frequently to the US, applicants can use the same online application and simply change the dates listed on the original application form.

According to the US consulate, visa applications should be submitted 2 – 3 months in advance; expedited visa processing will only be available to students and medical emergencies. After a successful interview, visas can be picked up 24 hours after the formal interview.